Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday at LaSalle Square

Another volunteer filled day at LaSalle Square . It started with Myles who is a student at IUSB . He started a garden for the students at IUSB , and had some free time so came out to help us . He spent the day hauling soil & mulch , a task that wears me out so its always welcome . He also invited another IUSB student Karen to come out .Karen worked with Tammy on planting in the education area. Another New volunteer Connie worked with our 2 interns on planting Potatoes & Corn . Connie lives in the neighborhood , and decided to lend a hand . Austin continuned building mounds to plant Pumpkins, and squash on . Others stained picnic tables , planted tomatoes , moved stone for the shaded shelter. A very busy day indeed. With just about 30 days to my deadline to finish my planting we are more than 3/4 of the way finished. Things should be looking really good for Tour de Unity on June 11th . There is still time to sign-up

Friday, May 27, 2011

One Day Two Gardens

The Catholic Workers have 2 Unity Gardens one behind the mens house on St Joe st & one on Main at our Lady of the Road . Today we put both in . We started out early at Our Lady where you can get free breakfast every Friday . We cleaned up the plot & planted Peas , Tomatoes , Green Beans , Eggplant , and Pumpkins . Melvin one of the guys having breakfast showed how to turn the soil with a pitch fork .He made quick work of that task.! Next we headed off to the Catholic Workers House to plant Potatoes , Green Beans , Peppers , Tomatoes , Kale , Broccoli , Watermelon , Okra , Peas , and Some Herbs . We also found some good use for some old boxes behind the house by using them to keep the weeds down around the garden . We also transformed a pile of sticks in to a fence for the Peas to Climb up . Afterwards Katie made us all lunch to top off a great morning of planting .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Key Bank

Key Bank was kind enough to use their community service day to help out Unity Gardens . About 16 energetic folks came out to work at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden . They brought lunch out , and after that they hit the Garden for 4 hours . Boy did they work hard ! I could not slow them down . Whenever I have a group come out I make sure there are more tasks then they can ever finish . Well this group did them all !! All in All a great day .


Sunday, May 22, 2011


An e-mail from Laureen the garden leader at the Madison Square Unity Garden. Laureen bought a piece of land in her neighborhood to put a unity garden, then paid the city to install water on it . All to make her neighborhood a better place .
Awesome day in the garden. Planted the tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, cucumbers and squash. Placed the signs. People stopping by and wanting to get involved -- one of them was Muhammad Shabazz, who said he helped with the seed starting and master gardening at Potawatomi?

Too cool. Having one of my volunteer times from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sundays (the other is Saturday 9 a.m. to noon), and starting tomorrow because people want to be there. A neighbor north of Madison, Valjean and her 12-year-old grandson, worked in a steady rain helping me to prep soil and plant.

She can see the garden from her house to the north -- which is exactly where I want more neighbors to come from, and remembered me giving her father veggies last year. Knows gardening from life in the country in Virginia, before life took a turn and she lost her house and 10-acre land.

That woman looked and sounded like the earth heals her soul. And here she was in the rain, teaching her grandson how to garden. Really good day.

I'm going to try and start taking some pictures -- my digital camera is really old and I don't use it much but I can try.

Changing Times

The Unity Gardens goal is to have gardens for the community , and planted and harvested by the community. If we build it they will come , and they have . The first year we put in a garden out at LaSalle Square we had a few volunteers , and a few groups come work , but keeping up was a challenge . Last year the neighbors started to come out to help , to harvest . Some came out on a regular basis , and some were hit & miss . We had many groups come out from ND , Saint Mary's etc...

This year is a whole different story . All kinds of people from the neighbor coming out to help . Weeding , Planting , Watering .....

People ask what they can do , can they come anytime , and weed. Jennifer tells me she thinned the radishes " Is that Ok she asks " Its everything we wanted , and more . So now the plan to release more of the garden tasks to the neighborhood . Changing times.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Busy Friday

It was a busy day out at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden today . I arrived early , and started on my Bee Garden . Someone donated a Bee Garden kit which contains 8 different flower seeds designed to attract bees . So I thought I should Build a cool planter to put them in . Thanks Laney Honey in North Liberty

I also made mounds to plant Squashes on . This is alot of work all hand done with my hoe. Clearing off the leaves then hoeing up a nice mound to plant them on . I also planted corn on the mounds .

We had plenty of visitors . Families working in the family plots. A man on his bike stopped and had lunch under the tree . Others just visiting . Just a typical day in the garden.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

South Field Lakes

Things are moving right along at Southfield Lakes Unity Garden . Good news CommunityWide Federal Credit Union has just committed to sponsoring this Garden . With their support we can grow this garden, and feed more people , educate more people , and grow community .

Also a big Thanks to Nate the Garden Leader who donated his own money to get this southside garden going . It takes a village .
Like them on Facebook and tell them thanks!/comwide?sk=info


Test Plot . Education , Supporting Local Business , and Growing food . Watch our test Plot. A new local company with a all natural fertilizer. The plan . 2 equal plots . Tomatoes, Peppers , Eggplant , and Broccoli . One plot treated One untreated ..Watch hear for Updates.Check out New Life Super Soil Booster

Sunday, May 15, 2011

League of Women Voters

Friday & Saturday Sara Spoke at the League of Women voters Statewide convention held in South Bend

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Something more always happens whenever Sara shares the message about Unity Gardens . It was a very engaged group . I can always tell by the questions , and reactions in the crowd ...they get it .

But More ... In the Hall shortly after the presentation started I heard a man in the hall say " I don't need to go in I know about community gardens we have some in Bloomington " . Well I felt obliged to intervene , and say , " but you don't know about Unity Gardens" . He went in and watched the 2nd 1/2 of the presentation , and afterwards asked me for a flyer with our information . Unity Gardens are unique in the way they start with sharing not just with the members of a community , but with everyone . We share our food , we share our knowledge , but more of all we share a little bit of ourselves . Diverse people coming together is what builds a community . One of the few things we all share is the need for is healthy food . Without it we would not exist .
I loved hearing Lisa whose patio overlooks a garden tell me she loves watching people stop , and harvest from the Garden . Then there was the gal who wanted to know more about how she could help connect with people in need. Grandmothers wanting to connect their grandchildren with gardening . the stories go on !!
What a great group of people .
THANKS for letting Sara spread the word about Unity Gardens ...Statewide soon !!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Muessel School

A New Unity Garden started up last night at Muessel School. Right on the Corner of Blaine & Vasser . These Guys are on it, all about sharing with everyone . Look for free veggies , good company coming soon ! To volunteer check for contact info on locations tab .

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Enjoy a Coke Today

Today Coke is having a Hog Roast to celebrate 125 years in business . But before the party the came out to the LaSalle Square Unity Garden to help volunteer . What a great way to give back to the community . I will also say they were the hardest working group I have had out to the garden. Its all I could do to keep up with finding enough work for them to do . They rocked . I am so grateful during this busy time to get on top of the planting . The Mulched paths , Cleaned out beds, filled raised beds, and planted . Then they were off to enjoy the hog roast .

Check us out on Facebook!/

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Plant Sale

Once again its time for our plant sale fundraiser . Again we are holding at Junk Evolution Friday May 6th from 5pm to 9pm and Saturday May 7th from 10am to 3pm come out to get Tomatos , Peppers , and various flowering plants donated by local businesses. Also checkout the benches painted by the South Bend School Corps Art Dept.

Come out to the plant Sale and Make a Donation for your Favorite Bench

Junk Evoulution is a very cool shop located at 528 E Colfax

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cooking Class

Unity Gardens first big cooking / healthy eating class was a hit. To be honest I thought cooking how exciting could that be . Well Wrong . Chef Alin first of all made it fun, interesting , and hands on . Starting with how to cut a melon , then onto Butternut squash quesedillas , with Cranberry Salsa . All through the demo some tips on making cooking easy . Shrimp & Veggie Pasta , Lentils , Swiss Chard . What a great meal & plenty for everyone. Chef made it fun and east . Keller Park it a great location. We all ate family style , and chef Alin ate with us and answered questions . Next up was Ellen Dvorak talking about the food pyramid . Good Info . Its pretty easy go to the USDA website , and put in some info about yourself , and get a custom food Pyramid . Pretty cool . I did mine , How about you do yours

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Great Day In The Garden

Sunday turned out to be a great day at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden . What was supposed to be a rainy day turned out to be filled with sunshine. It just so happened that we had a group of students from Notre Dame coming out to work . I am so busy this time of year the help was more than welcome . They put the greenhouse plastic on ( with a little help from Jim & Cara ) . They also prepped 2 large planting areas . We had some others from the neighborhood stop by & help . Lots of good things work .